Senior gifts remain to be found

Missing water fountains leave students confused

Water+fountains+at+Pinkerton+Elementary+in+Coppell+resemble+those+that+are+planned+for+Coppell+High+School.+They+allow+students+to+fill+their+own+water+bottles+and+see+how+many+plastic+bottles+they+have+saved.
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Senior gifts remain to be found

Water fountains at Pinkerton Elementary in Coppell resemble those that are planned for Coppell High School. They allow students to fill their own water bottles and see how many plastic bottles they have saved.

Water fountains at Pinkerton Elementary in Coppell resemble those that are planned for Coppell High School. They allow students to fill their own water bottles and see how many plastic bottles they have saved.

Bren Flechtner

Water fountains at Pinkerton Elementary in Coppell resemble those that are planned for Coppell High School. They allow students to fill their own water bottles and see how many plastic bottles they have saved.

Bren Flechtner

Bren Flechtner

Water fountains at Pinkerton Elementary in Coppell resemble those that are planned for Coppell High School. They allow students to fill their own water bottles and see how many plastic bottles they have saved.

Anthony Cesario, Staff Writer

The water fountains at Coppell High School have long been a complaint among students and staff members alike, who noted the unpleasant aftertaste of the water and how much water can be wasted by the current design.

 

However, nothing was done about the situation until last year.

 

At the end of each year in AP/IB Environmental Science teacher Holly Anderson’s class, students do a project in which they investigate a problem or issue in their community. Last school year, Anderson switched things up – instead of having the students working in groups, she made the project classwide. The students decided to install refillable water bottle fountains throughout the school.

 

“They decided they wanted to look at water use and waste,” Anderson said. “If we could bring our own bottles and refill them, that would be great. But it’s hard to fill your bottle with the [fountains] we have.”

 

Anderson showed her students a video of the water-filling stations used at Pinkerton Elementary, which even indicate the number of bottles people have saved by using them. The students decided to make a proposal to CHS to purchase new environmentally-friendly water filling stations.

 

“We had [Coppell ISD executive director of facilities and special projects] Louis Macias come in,” Anderson said. “He listened to the students and gave them suggestions; he told them that if we raised the money to get the actual stations, he would install them for free.”

 

Two of Anderson’s students – Ale Ceniceros and Haley Wafford, both juniors at the time – saw a perfect opportunity.

 

“Ale and I were going to start a club. We came up with methods to raise money, which were selling water bottles with the Coppell Logo on them,” Wafford said.

 

However, the club never became a reality. According to Wafford, the 2017 senior class officers announced later that year at graduation that the water fountains would be a class gift.

 

“I haven’t heard anything from the campus yet as far as budget comes for the purchase of the new water fountains,” Macias said. “Once I’m able to get that information, I can get these ordered and get them in and we’ll get them installed.”

 

According to Macias, the new water fountains run for about $900 a piece. But with the senior class officers claiming to have already donated the money, and Macias stating he has not received it, students and some staff members involved in the process are left in the dark.

 

Associate Principal Sean Bagley acknowledged the confusion.

 

“The senior class did donate the money to make that happen last year. It’s a process,” Bagley said. “We have to go through the bids, the district has to set the timelines up and once they get all that together we’ll be moving forward.”

 

He also addressed the late arrival of the bottle-filling stations.

 

“Initially, I thought [the installation of the fountains] was going to happen with the reconstruction of all the bathrooms, but what I’ve been told now, it’s going to happen after they get all the bathrooms done,” Bagley said. “It’s coming out of two separate budgets in two separate areas and supposedly it’s happening after we get done with the construction.”

 

Students will have to wait longer than expected for the awaited bottle-filling stations to arrive, but they can know that the district is aware of the situation and is working on getting the fountains installed.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthony_SK2017

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